In our day, if you wanted to get to the top of a tree, you just grabbed onto the lowest branch with your hands, swung your legs up, tried to grab the next lowest branch, and so on and so forth. If you couldn't reach the lowest branch, you either got somebody to lift you or you waited until next year when you were taller and came back and tried again. Sometimes you scraped your hands up. Sometimes you fell out of a tree and broke your collarbone. But not only was that the best way to climb a tree, it was the only way to climb a tree, and what's more, it built character. Not being able to reach those branches taught you an important lesson about patience and being honest with yourself and probably other stuff, too.
And it's too bad that kids today will never be forced to learn those lessons. When they want to climb a tree they just head on out with their attachable spiral steps made with thick neoprene pads and a supporting handrail, strap it onto the trunk of the tree, and ascend into the canopy.
· Band This Winding Staircase Onto Any Tree Without Any Tools [design you trust]